Sunday, December 30, 2012

12 Days of Blogging Day 10 (Raven Rock)

We ended up not going up to Boone as expected and came home a day early.  I'll own it: when I saw the weather, I wussed out.  45 degrees and sunny here in Durham looked more appealing than the single digit wind chills up there, and honestly I was starting to get a bit anxious to get home and get ready for life post-break.  I haven't had a real day of 'down time' yet on this week off and I'm back at work again shortly.

Given that I had an extra day here in the Triangle, I went on a road trip to Harnett County to get in a run at Raven Rock State Park.

I had never been there before; there is a race there in mid-November every year.  I've never done it since it usually conflicts with other races around that time.

It took me about an hour from the Southpoint area thanks to the new toll highway, the Triangle Expressway.  It is a bit strange to have a massive highway cutting right through Western Wake county with 3-4 lanes in each direction and have NO ONE else on the road.  I took this all the way down to the 55 bypass in Holly Springs and drove through lovely downtown Fuquay-Varina.  When I crossed over into Harnett County and saw the rebel flags flying in front yards, I knew I was outside of the bubble of the Triangle.

I arrived at the park, and another trail runner wearing a Holiday Lake 50K shirt quickly approached me and gave me tips on all the trails in the park.  I guess he saw my VCU Rams hat (I did not go there) and Richmond Marathon shirt and was eager to talk about all the ultra races up there.  NC is a friendly place and trail runners are friendly people.

The run went well, my achilles held up, and I put in about an hour and a half.  My goal was to run longer than it took me to get there.  I ran the Little Creek and Raven Rock loop trails, and then did the 5.1 Campbell Creek loop.  That section was a little more technical, about like Company Mill in Umstead.  In total, I put in a little over 9 miles at about 9:30 pace, ending my week at 30 miles - or my first week over 15 since Ridge to Bridge.

It will be my last run of the year, bringing my total mileage to 1242, well short of the near 1500 I had in 2010 and 2011.  But glad to end on a positive note and try a new place.

Raven Rock - like Umstead, but with a large river and a waterfall

Sun shining through the trees, Little Creek trail

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